Helpful ways to manage stress
Are you stressed?
With everything going on in the world right now it wouldn’t be a surprise if you were. Here at Flo Chiropractic we thought it was the ideal time to write a blog on effective ways of managing stress. Read on for our helpful tips…
There are some very well-known activities and habits that we know are beneficial for helping to reduce stress. Exercising regularly and eating a healthy, balanced and clean diet which is rich in fruits and vegetables lead the way, when it comes to relieving our minds and bodies of stressors. So, we’re not going to spend paragraphs telling you what you should and shouldn’t be eating, and how much of which type of exercise you should be doing on which day of the week. It’s very simple… Exercise regularly. Eat clean. Do that and you are a big way towards achieving the goal already.
Instead, let’s focus on some different ways you might be able to relieve stress in your day to day life.
- Breathing, meditation and mindfulness: Learning ways to bring yourself into the present moment to avert attention from negative thoughts and an overwhelming schedule can really help to de-stress. Focused deep breathing helps to activate our parasympathetic nervous system to combat the effects of being in a long-term ‘fight or flight’ state. It can help to reduce heart and breathing rates leaving you feeling much more relaxed. Mindfulness meditation is also an effective approach to calming the mind and battling life’s stresses and anxieties.
- Colouring in: Have you tried this one? This is awesome and its a personal favourite of mine! Adult colouring books have boomed in the last few years, and we’re sure you will see why if you try one for yourself. There is evidence that mandala colouring books (books full of symmetrical shapes) can reduce stress and anxiety by helping calm the mind and instigate a meditative state… A great way to unwind, switch off, and let your creative artistic side prevail.
- Take a candle-lit bath: The perfect you-time. Once the kids (or your partner) are down for the night, run yourself a hot bath (bubbles are necessary) and get out the scented candles or burn some essential oils. If you’re looking for something soothing on the aromatherapy front, we suggest trying lavender, sandalwood or Ylang Ylang. You’ll be feeling calm and ready for a good night’s sleep in no time.
- Write things down: Organisation is key when it comes to surviving a hectic life schedule. No need for expensive technology with this one. All that is required is a pen and paper. Daily to-do lists can keep you on track every step of the way. As an added extra, try writing a gratitude diary every morning when you wake up. These allow you to focus on the positive aspects of your life leaving no room for concentrating on negative thoughts or life stressors.
- Take time for yourself: OK so taking a candle-lit bath kind of fits into this category too, but if you’re not the bath-type we also recommend sitting in a quiet room with minimal distractions (i.e. no TV, or kids) and listen to music. Down-tempo instrumental, classical, or music that incorporates sounds of nature are particularly calming genres. Otherwise, you could pour yourself a glass of wine and read a book (remembering to drink alcohol in moderation, of course). Do what makes you happy.
We find these tips very handy. Give some of them a try and feel the stress melt away!
- Maxwell, L. and Duff, E. 2016. Mindfulness: An Effective Prescription for Depression and Anxiety. The Journal for Nurse Practitioners. 12 (6). 403-409. Available from: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S1555415516001732
- Curry, M. and Kasser, T. 2005. Can Coloring Mandalas Reduce Anxiety? Art Therapy. 22 (2). 81-85. Available from: https://files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/EJ688443.pdf
- Chen, M. et al. 2015. The effects of aromatherapy in relieving symptoms related to job stress among nurses. International Journal of Nurse Practitioners. 21 (1). 87-93. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24238073